Max Scherzer’s megadeal changes the narrative for the New York Mets
Max Scherzer is a great pitcher and the New York Mets have been looking for their next ace. He has given them just that with this deal, but there’s more to it than just dollars and cents.
Some analysts say he will help rebuild the franchise from bottom up while others argue his contract does not work on paper. Regardless of what happens in its future, Max Scherzer helped change the narrative surrounding the team today by signing an 8-year $210 million dollar contract.,
Max Scherzer’s megadeal changes the narrative for the New York Mets. Max Scherzer is a pitcher who has been with the Washington Nationals since 2011, but before this past season, he was a free agent. The team that signed him to a record-breaking contract is not expected to be one of the best teams in baseball, but they will have an ace on their roster.
An offseason that instilled unusual hope in die-hard New York Mets fans was followed by a 2021 season that ended in spectacular fashion and was filled with instability throughout. The following weeks provided a snapshot of the fallout: some of baseball’s brightest minds declining offers to lead the Mets’ baseball operations department; some of the game’s most attractive free agents declining larger offers to play elsewhere; and the Mets’ ardent owner tweeting angrily through it all, while other executives and agents laughed along. By Thanksgiving, the Mets had become a disorganized organization.
The Mets vanquished all of that upheaval on Monday morning in the most effective, efficient manner possible: by throwing a ludicrous amount of money at it.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Max Scherzer, the finest pitcher available this offseason and probably the best pitcher of this generation, has agreed to sign a three-year, $130 million deal with the Mets. It offers him an average yearly worth of $43.3 million, which is more than 20% greater than Gerrit Cole’s deal with the New York Yankees, which established the previous record. It’s a huge amount for a pitcher who recently finished his 36th season and is nearing 3,000 innings in his career. However, it was necessary to complete the task.
Steve Cohen’s bank account gets credited.
When the billionaire hedge fund investor bought the Mets 388 days ago, he promised to spend like a big-market owner should. Cohen would turn the Mets into a financial giant capable of competing with, if not surpassing, the industry’s behemoths. His Mets devotion and huge wealth have the ability to alter the sport’s dynamic. Last spring, shortstop Francisco Lindor signed a 10-year, $341 million contract deal. Following a rocky first year of ownership, Monday’s signing was another proof of what that truly means.
According to insiders, Cohen went where no other team has gone before. Scherzer wanted three guaranteed years, so Cohen gave him that, along with a record pay and an opt-out clause after Year 2. Even Scherzer, a member of the union’s executive subcommittee who is now engaged in difficult discussions for a new collective bargaining agreement, couldn’t refuse the offer. The Mets’ rotation now has a pitching combo that has the potential to be one of the most lethal in decades, ranking among Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling.
Since his rookie season in 2014, Scherzer has a 2.50 ERA, the second-lowest in the majors among pitchers with at least 50 starts. Scherzer, with 2.81, is third on the list, behind Kershaw at No. 1.
DeGrom had an incredible 1.08 ERA in 15 starts last season, striking out 146 hitters while walking just 11 in 92 innings. Despite missing the second half of the season because to elbow and forearm issues, deGrom placed ninth in the National League Cy Young Award voting. Moving ahead, his health remains a serious concern, one that will have a considerable impact on the Mets’ near future.
At the very least, Scherzer is a significant insurance policy. Even with an ominous finale, the three-time Cy Young Award winner recently finished what could have been his finest season in his 14-year career. For the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Scherzer was 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA in 179 1/3 innings, striking out 236 hitters while walking just 36. For the sixth time, he finished in the top three in the Cy Young voting. Scherzer had a 0.78 ERA in his first nine starts for the Dodgers, who acquired him along with middle infielder Trea Turner in return for their two best remaining prospects.
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After pitching the ninth inning of Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants, Scherzer’s arm took a long time to recover. It prompted the Dodgers to postpone both of his planned starts in the next round by a day. Instead of throwing Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, Scherzer sat out Game 6 and watched the Dodgers lose to the eventual champion Atlanta Braves. He disregarded worries about long-term harm at the time, claiming that his arm was just weary. The ultimate arbiter, though, will be an upcoming medical test, which is the last stage in concluding his agreement with the Mets.
The Dodgers are rushing to fill up a starting rotation that is led by Walker Buehler and Julio Urias but has a lot of uncertainty beyond that after Scherzer’s departure. The Dodgers wanted Scherzer back because he is still pitching at his best and because they admired the tone he established with his energy and selflessness. It’s the kind of presence that can help a shattered franchise get back on track.
The Mets had one general manager (Brodie Van Wagenen) get caught on a hot mic ripping the commissioner of baseball, another (Jared Porter) get fired for sending explicit, unsolicited texts to a female reporter, and yet another (Zack Scott) get placed on administrative leave after an arrest on drunken driving charges and then fired two months later. In the middle of all of this, their president, Sandy Alderson, had to face sexual assault charges involving their previous manager, Mickey Callaway, who has now been put on MLB’s ineligible list.
On the field, Lindor struggled terribly offensively in the season leading up to the start of his agreement; their youthful core of position players failed; and offseason signings like Carlos Carrasco and James McCann flopped. The Mets finished the season 29-45, missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. They sacked their manager, Luis Rojas, and recruited Billy Eppler as their new general manager after chasing down Theo Epstein and Billy Beane, both of whom had declined offers to join their president of baseball operations.
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Cohen turned to Twitter nine days after hiring Eppler to slam starting pitcher Steven Matz’s agent, Rob Martin, for “unprofessional conduct” after his client accepted a reportedly lower offer to join the St. Louis Cardinals. After previous tweets in which he attacked his team’s offensive style and labeled the exploitation of the amateur draft, among other things, it was again another ugly look by the Mets’ owner.
Cohen’s quirks won’t bother Mets supporters as long as he turns the club into a perennial winner. For Friday, the Mets spent $124.5 million on Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar, bolstering their terrible offense for 2021. They boosted their 2022 payroll into the $260 million area four days later, a sum that will send them beyond the luxury-tax threshold regardless of what the next CBA looks like. However, there are still openings in the roster.
So Cohen, who has finally turned the Mets into a big-market franchise, will continue to spend. The bank account is open.
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